Make Me Famous

Reggie Yates's new drama explores the consequences of fast fame on reality TV contestants

Interview with Peter King

We were lucky to have an incredible ensemble cast, but the film is anchored around a fantastic, heartfelt performance from the lead, Tom Brittney, who creates a deeply nuanced Billy.Peter King
Date: 09.06.2020     Last updated: 09.06.2020 at 18.38
Category: BBC Three; Drama
Peter King is the Director of Make Me Famous.

How would you describe the film?
Make Me Famous is an intimate portrait of a young man’s experiences dealing with newfound fame. We follow Billy’s journey through his post-reality-TV experience as he struggles with his self-image. As the world closes in on him, he finds himself increasingly alone. The film looks at fame, mental health and the toxic consequences of social media trolling.

What can viewers expect from the film?
The film is honest and heartfelt, and we were always conscious of creating something unbiased. We present the reality of the situation, trying to break down the stereotypical image people expect to see of the playboy character living it large. We reveal Billy's true off-screen character and how he struggles to live up to the expectations of the public, and in turn how it affects his mental health.

We were lucky to have an incredible ensemble cast, but the film is anchored around a fantastic, heartfelt performance from the lead, Tom Brittney, who creates a deeply nuanced Billy, which perfectly expresses the dichotomy of his public and private personas.

What do you hope people will take away from it?
I want audiences to appreciate that there are real people behind celebrities and reality TV personalities, and that what we see in the press and on their social media channels is a managed and distorted image of that person. There’s a perception that they all have perfect lives, wealth, many friends and lovers. This gives some people motivation to attack them through social media and in magazine and tabloid articles.

The truth is that these people are often chosen for reality shows because they reveal more complexity than what’s on the surface. This quality makes them watchable, but ultimately also makes them vulnerable. The film also deals with male mental health, and how men often feel unable to reach out, as vulnerability goes against their perceived masculinity. This can trigger a downward spiral.